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Keys to a Long Lasting Relationship
by Angela Brown

Within fourteen months after getting married, Anna is on the road to divorce. While there is nothing really wrong with the relationship, there is not much right about it either. Anna and Dave got married right about the time when it was popular to blame your childhood for everything wrong in your life. And though itís true that we are all products of our environment and upbringing, itís difficult to shift blame when you accept personal responsibility for your happiness and emotional well-being.

Anna is my traditionally moody girlfriend who is waiting for the next job, next man, and next scenario to complete her happiness. If she can just get married then all her problems will be solved. Dave will provide for her financially, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and whatever else. Then disappointment strikes, Dave is biorhythmically human. He has bad days just like everybody else, and cannot socially drag them both through the tough days. Finances are tight, since immediately following the wedding, career oriented Anna just up and quit her job because her mental picture of what marriage was all about didnít include a woman (even without kids) working outside the home. Blame the childhood for that one.

Stress starts to build and Dave eventually canít carry them both emotionally either. Arguments break out where there should be conversation, clarification and understanding and soon the mighty kaleidoscope crumbles.

Valentineís Day is all about having a date, being romantic and reaching euphoric happiness Ė and after Valentineís here are some simple solutions to keep the romance alive and the relationship heartily rolling through those inevitable peaks and valleys:

  • First, donít go out with men or women who arenít right for you. Early in every relationship warning signs appear when the two of you are not compatible or your values donít mix. Pay attention and donít allow yourself to get caught in a trap of ending up with the wrong partner because you think you can change them. Chances are you canít.

  • Donít toss the person you pick. Although we live in a disposable society where it is common to discard employees, spouses, friends, neighbors and anyone who irritates us, realize that the person you have chosen to spend your life with is human and will eventually make mistakes, gain weight, lose their sex drive for various periods of time, on occasion go broke, fail to communicate about important things and have bad hair days and bad breath. So will you. Plan for these realities and be flexible when they occur, and create a positive environment in which your partner can bounce back.

  • Take responsibility for your own happiness and emotional well-being. Donít wait on your partner to make you happy. Although the company of your other half might bring enjoyment, if you are not happy on your own, when separated from your spouse you will revert back to misery.

  • Donít lean, and donít allow a leaner. Think of your relationship as two pillars where both you and your spouse are independently stable in your emotions, spirituality, finances, and physical health. On the strength of those two freestanding pillars a foundation for your life together is built that can withstand the swaying of lifeís winds. In contrast to a sturdy structure, if you have one pillar leaning against another, the leaning one creates enormous pressure on the strong one. And the foundation built at the tip without the support of the second pillar will merely teeter. And in the event that the sturdy one, at any time, for any reason sways with the changing winds of time, the unit may collapse altogether.

  • The grass is not greener on the other side; there are only weeds and rocks there too. Instead of trying to escape your current relationship, take the time dig up the rocks, pull the weeds and cultivate yourself and your connection with your partner.

  • Focus on correcting yourself. Dr. Terry Hargrave, Ph.D. and Professor at Amarillo College in Texas suggests; ďIf you are concentrating on your partnerís problems, you are unavailable to concentrate on your own. We tend to focus on what we see, and when we highlight the shortcomings in a relationship we become demeaning and judgmental and we miss the beauty and value that attracted us to our partner in the first place."

  • Realize that any relationship at best is difficult and takes constant work, effort, enthusiasm and if meant to last, patience and love.

Information from: Words of Wellness

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